Travel is a great way to better understand the world. Traveling to new places and new cultures helps people gain insights into how the world is run as well as their place in it. Many people who travel look to make sure that they are doing so in a way that helps minimize their carbon footprint. They also seek to make sure that their travels are as eco-friendly as possible. There are many ways to accomplish this goal.
One of the most important is to make careful advanced plans. All traveling options should be researched well in advanced including any planned transport methods, the kind of places where the traveler will be staying and even exactly how much they are planning to pack. Many hotels and other lodging offer details about how water is used onsite as well as information about local area efforts to engage in recycling. A savvy traveler will always pick the lodging that allows them to be sure that they are staying green even when they are away from home. Any travel plans should also involve making sure that one’s house or apartment is not wasting energy when the traveler is not home. A traveler who is traveling during the winter should make sure that their thermostat is not on if not needed. Consider buying a smart thermostat that allows the user to control the temperature of the house even when not at home. A traveler can then check local area conditions online and determine if the temperature of the house needs to be adjusted to make sure that pipes remain open to avoid ice accumulation.
Once at the destination, the eco-friendly traveler should make engage in practices that can help reduce the amount of garbage they generate each day. Many hotels allow the guest to avoid changing bed linens in each day and thus reduce the amount of laundry done in any given period. A traveler should also seek to eat as many meals locally as possible. This allows them to both sample local cuisine and to make sure that any foods they are grown locally. Many places around the world recycle. Ask the hotel manager what laws govern recycling as they may not be obvious and then adhere to them. Following a few simple tips can help the traveler have a great vacation with the satisfaction of knowing they are also being earth friendly.
Many of us are excited about going green to help the environment, reduce pollution and save money. However, the whole idea may be just a bit overwhelming for those people that are just getting started with the concept. These recommendations may be just what you need to get started and contribute to saving our environment and reducing waste.
Some of the biggest energy consumers in homes are appliances. Older appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and water heaters can really rack up energy bills. Check each appliance to determine how old it is and consider replacing it with newer Energy Star appliances. You may also qualify for a tax rebate when replacing old appliances. Carefully clean around the coils on freezers and refrigerators to remove dust, dirt and hair that block proper air filtration and make them work harder. Replace seals that cause cold air to leak out and make the frig run more often. You might consider disconnecting automatic icemakers, which use large amounts of power.
Today, homes are filled with electronics that all consume power when plugged into outlets. However, many electronics can even bleed off additional power even when they are not on. Of course, you don’t need to unplug every single electronic item in your home, but you should evaluate how frequently the item is actually used. Walk through your home and look for things like radios, DVDs, TVs, lamps, humidifiers, can openers and toaster ovens to name a few. Unplug computers, printers and chargers that are not used regularly. Unplug electronics from outlets that are rarely ever used and you’ll save energy and reduce utility bills.
- Replace outdated toilets that are using 5 gallons of water per flush with water-saving toilets.
- Resist the urge to turn up the heat in the winter and turn down the air-conditioner in the summer. Wear sweaters for warmth and stay cooler wearing shorts and t-shirts.
- Convert over to rechargeable batteries and LED lights. This helps to reduce landfill garbage and saves on utilities.
- Evaluate your home energy costs and consider installing solar energy panels that produce energy.
You might be surprised at how much power is being consumed after checking your home or replacing old appliances. Don’t forget to check hobby rooms, guest rooms and workshops that may have extra electronics, a sewing machine or power equipment tools, which could be running up your bills and wasting power when not in use.
Solar energy is here to stay. After all, limited resources are becoming scarcer, energy rates keep going up, and homeowners everywhere are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. However, you need to know that putting solar panels on your home is more than a simple weekend project.
You’ll want to reduce your energy usage first
Solar panels aren’t cheap. While there may be rebates available to help off-set some of the cost, you’ll want to buy as few panels as you need. The key to this is reducing your energy usage first. Consider getting a home energy audit to find just where energy is being wasted.
The installation must be done right
For solar panels to be effective, they will need plenty of southern exposure and be tilted to the optimal angle. In other words, this is work that should be completed by experienced professionals. In fact, there’s a good chance that your city won’t allow you to hook up your own solar energy panels to the grid.
Your electrical company may have to pay you
In most areas, electrical companies must buy extra energy generated by home solar panels from the homeowner. This will help off-set the cost of the electricity you’ll still need to buy when the sun isn’t shining. However, your home will still need to be connected to the grid.
Don’t assume that your home will be off-grid
Many homeowners dream of building a off-grid house by using solar panels. However, this generally isn’t feasible. First, the sun doesn’t shine all the time. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if battery technology was better, but batteries just aren’t powerful enough to store sufficient energy to power a whole house. Second, many cities don’t allow homes to be constructed off-grid.
Be wary of free solar panel plans
There are quite a number of solar panel plans on the internet claiming that you can build your own solar panels. While some of these plans can be helpful in saving you money, be wary of free plans. These documents are frequently incomplete, don’t follow city codes, and don’t have any kind of support if things go wrong.